…As Lai Mohammed, Aregbesola honour Alaafin, Ayinde in Oyo***
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja
According to the presidential aide, this is sequel to its passage by the National Assembly and subsequent forwarding by the legislature to the President for assent.
It would be recalled that President Buhari, while presenting the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, had also presented the Finance Bill and said: “This Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws.
“These objectives are; promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices;
Others are; Introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and Raising Revenues for Government.
“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent , as such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he said.
With the assent, according to Adesina, there would be more revenue to finance key government projects especially in the areas of health, education and critical infrastructure.
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In the meantime, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture as well as his Interior counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, to honour him on his 49th coronation anniversary.
The ministers in company with Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the Vice President on Political Matters, arrived the monarch’s palace in Oyo town on Monday.
The monarch, as part of activities marking his 49th coronation anniversary, also installed renowned Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde, popularly known as KWAM 1, as Mayegun of Yorubaland.
Adeyemi, one of the Africa’s most powerful and influential traditional rulers, was crowned on Jan. 14, 1971.
The ministers, in separate interviews after a closed door meeting with the Alaafin, told newsmen that they were in Oyo to honour both the monarch and Ayinde.
Mohammed, in particular, said that he was in Oyo on a combined mission of honouring the duo of the Alaafin and Ayinde as well as to promote the cultural values of the country.
“We are here to honour the Alaafin and an icon in Nigerian music. As you know, I am the minister in-charge of culture, I have another role to play.
“I am here to honour a friend and to beam the light on the cultural values of our country,” he said.
Aregbesola, on his part, said that he was in Oyo to be part of the 49th ascension anniversary of the Alaafin and to rejoice with his friend, Ayinde.
“I am here to be part of the 49th anniversary of Alaafin’s ascension to the throne and equally rejoice with my friend, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall,” he said.
Ojudu said that he was in Oyo to honour the monarch and Ayinde on the instruction of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“You know what Kabiyesi is doing today is honouring Yoruba culture. The musicians and theatre practitioners, as custodians of culture, tells stories of yesterday, today and project that of today.
“Nobody has honoured any harbinger of culture in our society. Today is the first, somebody who upholds our culture and takes it around the world is being honoured.
“It is very important. That is why the Vice President asked me to be here,” he said.
The event was attended by traditional rulers from Oyo, Ogun and Lagos States, theatre practitioners and other dignitaries.